Tabb’s Poetry XVII



“Whom I shall kiss,” I heard a Sunbeam say,
   “Take him and lead away!”
Then, with the Traitor’s salutation, “Hail!”
   He kissed the Dawn-Star pale. 

To the Crucifix

Day after day the spear of morning bright
   Pierces again the ever-wounded side,
Pointing at once the birthspring of the Light,
   And where for Love the Light Eternal died. 

The Mid-Day Moon

Behold, whatever wind prevail,
Slow westering, a phantom sail—
The lonely soul of Yesterday—
Unpiloted, pursues her way. 


Against the night, a champion bright,
The glow-worm, lifts a spear of light;
And, undismayed, the slenderest shade
Against the noonday bares a blade. 

In Darkness

Dumb Silence and her sightless sister Sleep
Glide, mistlike, through the deepening Vale of Night;
Waking, where’er their shadowy garments sweep,
Dream-voices and an echoing dream of light.

John B. Tabb

For a recitation, click the play button:

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“Betrayal”: Later Lyrics, p. 47; Poetry, p. 334. October 1902. The poem alludes to Matthew 26:47-49; the Traitor is Judas.

“To the Crucifix”: Lyrics, p. 122; Poetry, p. 330. 1897. Father Tabb was quoted about this poem’s inspiration: “This came to me when I was present at the Confirmation of Philip Carroll at the Manor Church, when the sun shining through the window, fell upon the Crucifix upon the Altar.”

“The Mid-Day Moon”: Lyrics, p. 162; Poetry, p. 333. April 1894.

“Heroes”: Lyrics, p. 164; Poetry, p. 333. February 1895.

“In Darkness”: Lyrics, p. 149; Poetry, p. 332. January 1891.


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